Scarab Beetle (kheper)
Appearance: The particular species of beetle represented in the numerous ancient Egyptian amulets and works of art was commonly the large sacred scarab (Scarabaeus sacer). This beetle was famous for his habit of rolling balls of dung along the ground and depositing them in its burrows. The female would lay her eggs in the ball of dung. When they hatched, the larvae would use the ball for food. When the dung was consumed the young beetles would emerge from the hole. Millions of amulets and stamp seals of stone or faience were fashioned in Egypt depicted the scarab beetle.

Meaning: It seemed to the ancient Egyptians that the young scarab beetles emerged spontaneously from the burrow were they were born. Therefore they were worshipped as "Khepera", which means "he was came forth." This creative aspect of the scarab was associated with the creator god Atum.

The ray-like antenna on the beetle's head and its practice of dung-rolling caused the beetle to also carry solar symbolism. The scarab-beetle god Khepera was believed to push the setting sun along the sky in the same manner as the bettle with his ball of dung. In many artifacts, the scarab is depicted pushing the sun along its course in the sky.

During and following the New Kingdom, scarab amulets were often placed over the heart of the mummified deceased. These "heart scarabs" (such as the one pictured above) were meant to be weighed against the feather of truth during the final judgement. The amulets were often inscribed with a spell from the Book of the Dead which entreated the heart to, "do not stand as a witness against me."...ОР+

The Scarab Beatle
  • The oldest culture of the heart is the Egyptian 
  • The heart determined if the desceased could rise agine in paradise beyond this life. 
  • Wide spread symbol of the heart was the scarab beatle which was carved out of stone or precious metals. 
  • Was placed on the heart of the mummified deceased. 
  • Was weighed against the feather of Judgement to cross over. 
  • A heart without the burden of sin would balce with the feather of judgement and the possessor would enjoy an eternal afterlife. If no they were devoured by a beast. 
  • early texts showed that he Egyptians realised the connection between the heart and the pulse. 
  • They believed that the heart "speaks in the vessels of all memebers" 
  • The heart held the mind and soul of the individual. they dint know the fuction of the brain, they thought the job of the brain was to produce snot! 
  • They left the heart in the body during mummification because they believed that is contained the soul to be taken to the afterlife. 
  • The Hieroglyph symbol for the heart os a vase with handels. 
  • It was based on the shape of a heart of a sheep, the handels representing the veins and arteries to the organs. 
Heart (ieb)

Appearance: Those used to the valentine-related heart of Western Culture may be suprised at the Egyptian concept of the heart. Theirs looks more like a vase with handles, and indeed many vases and jars were shaped like the hieroglyph in question. The heart of Egyptian iconography is a fairly faithful representation of a section of the heart of a sheep. The "handles" correspond with the connection of the veins and arteries to the organ.

Meaning: The Egyptians early in their history realized the connection of the heart to the pulse. An ancient Egyptian medical treatise of the heart says that it "speaks in the vessels of all the members." It is not suprising then that they believed that the heart held the mind and soul of the individual. Another Egyptian author stated emphatically that "the actions of the arms, the movement of the legs, the motion of every other member is done according to the orders of the heart that has conceived them." It was sometimes said of the dead that their hearts had "departed" because it was believed that the heart was the center a man's life force.

It was the heart which was weighed against the feather of truth in the hall of Ma'at during the diving judgement of the deceased. A heart unburdened with the weight of sin and corruption would balance with the feather and its possessor would enjoy the eternal afterlife.

The vital importance of the heart in determining the fate of the deceased in the afterlife lead to a chapter in the Book of the Dead (Spell 30) where the deceased implores his heart not to betray him. In part, it reads: "O my heart which I had from my mother, O my heart which I had upon earth, do not rise up against me as a witness in the presence of the Lord of Things; do not speak against me concerning what I have done, do not bring up anything against me in the presence of the Great God, Lord of the West.

"Many "heart" scarabs were manufactured in Egypt. These scarabs were designed to be placed over the heart of the deceased. On one side a carving of a scarab was featured. On the other side Spell 30 was inscribed.

During the embalming process, the Egyptians removed most of the internal organs from the body. However, they always left the heart inside the body. The brain was removed using a long bronze hook which was inserted up the nose. The Egyptians were not exactly sure what the brain did, although many believed that its job was to produce snot.

According to the priests of Memphis, the god Ptah conceived of all things in his heart and brought them into being by speaking their names...ОР+

Appearance: The feather is depicted as a tall ostrich plume whose tip bends over under its own weight.

Meaning: The feather, because of its name, "shut", was a symbol of Shu. Shu was the Egyptian god of the air and the father of the earth (Geb) and the sky (Nut). Shu was often shown wearing a feather in his hair. Occasionally Geb was shown dressed in feathers, a representation of the air which covers him.

Usually, the feather was a symbol of Ma'at, the goddess of truth and order. The goddess was always shown wearing an ostrich feather in her hair. The feather by itself was her emblem.

In art, the feather was shown in scenes of the Hall of Ma'at. This hall is where the deceased was judged for his worthiness to enter the afterlife. The seat of the deceased's soul, his heart, was weighed on a balance against the feather of Ma'at. If the heart was free from the impurities of sin, and therefore lighter than the feather, then the dead person could enter the eternal afterlife. Other gods in the judgement hall who were part of the tribunal overseeing the weighing of the heart were also pictured holding a feather.

During the feast of Min, men would erect a ceremonial pole. These men would wear four ostrich feathers on their head. The significance of the feather in this context is uncertain...OP+